Day 39 refugee protests on Nauru



I‏mage: @InsurrectNews [27/4/16]






Doctors4refugees [27/4/16]:



DIBP tell us flight will arrive in Nauru at 0630 tomorrow 22 hours after the burns.

So Dutton's statement that he will be airlifted here tonight is a lie.

Omid spends tonight in ill equipped Nauru hospital in agonizing pain, just 2 days after 4 corners aired the tragic Khazaei outcome due to DIBP delays.





@pamelacurr [27/4/16]:  Why is burns victim still in Nauru? 3 flights into Nauru today None returned with man for hospital care in Brisbane yet




I'm surprised we haven't had a mass suicide: Former Nauru worker tells forum [VIDEO - Channel 10 - 9/4/16]




Asylum seekers issued with repellent after Zika virus confirmed on Nauru [The Age - 27/4/16]:


... On Wednesday evening, Australian Medical Association (AMA) vice-president Stephen Parnis said pregnant asylum seekers on Nauru needed to be protected, assessed and "not exposed to any risk".

He stopped short of saying whether the woman should be removed from the island. ...  <--- What does this even mean? 




At the time, we asked the AMA what prompted this press release, and whether they were aware of instances of torture (being facilitated by GPs) in Australia's detention centres.  They didn't respond. --->  Prisoners and detainees have a right to humane treatment [Australian Medical Assocation - 9/4/13]




His Excellency Ambassador John Berry has arrived at 2014 AMA National Conference! ...


Image: @USAembassyinOZ - US Embassy, Canberra [23/5/14]




... When Pacific Standard reached out to Nauru Ambassador Judith Cefkin for her thoughts on the refugee camp conditions, she sent back only a boilerplate response: “We encourage all countries to work with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees to find durable solutions for refugees and asylum seekers.” ...



Nauru: A ‘Human Dumping Ground’, Julie Morse [Pacific Standard - 12/4/16]





‏@AmbCefkin - U.S. Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu [24/4/16]:  Proud to join #Suva commemoration of #AnzacDay2016 honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.





The man who self immolated on Nauru was protesting because the UNHCR Australian branch has abandoned refugees in South East Asia.



Day 37 of refugee protests on Nauru.


Image:  ‏@InsurrectNews  [25/4/16]




... Catherine Stubberfield, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ regional representation in Canberra, the Australian capital, said by email that the agency “remains seriously concerned about the grave mental health status of the asylum seekers and refugees.”

“Comprehensive measures are required as a matter of urgency to prevent further unnecessary suffering and address ongoing mental health deterioration,” she said. ... [New York Times - 27/4/16]




Up until today, the UNHCR Australia branch has deflected any queries about the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in South East Asia to the "Bangkok office".


That their efforts are expended fundraising and caring about refugees anywhere but in our region  - especially those imprisoned in Australia, and on Nauru, Manus and Christmas Island - has never been scrutinised.


They have previously assisted the Australian government in its subversion of the right to seek asylum by "welcoming" its lies about the release of refugees on Nauru in October 2015.


It is doubtful that they are suddenly "concerned" about the refugees, and more likely their secretive "monitoring mission" to do whatever it is they were doing, has been disrupted.


After today's horrific events, why any representative from any aid agency or NGO would say anything other than "release the men, women and children on Manus, Nauru and Christmas Island immediately, and bring them to Australia" is simply mind boggling.




Jail for boat crew paid by Australian official to turn back [Sydney Morning Herald - 17/1/16]:


The captain of an asylum seeker boat who said he was paid thousands of dollars by an Australian official to return to Indonesia has been sentenced to five years and eight months' jail on people smuggling charges.

The panel of judges also ordered Yohanis Humiang​, 35, to pay 700 million rupiah ($70,000) or serve an additional five months in prison. 

The remaining five crew members were sentenced to five years and six months' jail and a fine of 500 million rupiah or an extra three months' prison time.


The asylum seekers remain in limbo in Indonesia.

Kandiha Kayuran and his wife, who gave birth in December, are still in immigration detention in Kupang.

He told Fairfax Media they had no idea what the future held.

"No one cares, New Zealand is not listening, and Australia too, even after the Amnesty report came out. Please help us."




New Zealand government refers refugees to Australia [RNZI - 13/6/15]:


The Government has told 65 asylum seekers wanting to live in New Zealand to contact United Nations officials in Australia.

The people, from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar, say they were heading for New Zealand when they were shipwrecked on an Indonesian reef earlier this month.

In a letter seen by Radio New Zealand, the group made a plea to the Government for asylum, saying it is unsafe for them to return home.

A written reply from the office of the Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, said while New Zealand accepted 750 refugees annually, it could not pick and choose.

It said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra was responsible for inquires dealing with New Zealand and suggested the group approach that office. [The UNHCR Canberra have said nothing - they refer any concerns about atrocities against refugees in our region to the Bangkok office.]

A UN representative in Indonesia said they met with the group, 52 of whom were registered as refugees. [As far as we know, these refugees are still detained in Kupang.]




The stubborn silence of Australia's medical profession, and their unwillingness to condemn this blatant victim blaming, and call for the camps to be closed and the men, women and children brought to Australia, is frightening.


UNHCR Australia says its secretive Nauru "mission" was to "monitor" the mental health of exiled, indefinitely imprisoned and abused refugees [Guardian - 27/4/16]:


... Dutton said that Australia’s policy was unchanged, and that if people were brought to Australia for medical assistance, they would be returned to Nauru “once that medical assistance has been provided”.

“If people think that through actions of self harm or harming a member of their family that that is going to result in them coming to Australia and then staying here permanently, then again I repeat the message that is not going to be the outcome.”


Catherine Stubberfield, spokesperson for UNHCR’s Regional Representation in Canberra, told Guardian Australia that UNHCR representatives were undertaking a monitoring mission of conditions on Nauru for asylum seekers and refugees transferred from Australia.

“A particular focus of the mission is the seriously deteriorated mental health of the transferred asylum-seekers and refugees. UNHCR staff were at the refugee settlement site when an incident occurred that resulted in a refugee sustaining extensive burns to his body.

 “UNHCR remains concerned about the grave mental health status of the asylum-seekers and refugees. Comprehensive measures are required as a matter of urgency to prevent further unnecessary suffering and address ongoing mental health deterioration.”  ...




The United Nations has postponed a planned visit to Australia because the federal government cannot guarantee legal immunity to detention centre workers who discuss asylum seekers and migrants.

The United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Canada's Francois Crepeau, was due to visit Australia on Sunday for about two weeks to investigate the plight of migrants and asylum seekers in offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island, following an invitation from the federal government.

But Mr Crepeau said in a statement that the Border Force Act, which makes it a crime for immigration and border protection workers to disclose information about offshore detention centres, "serves to discourage people from fully disclosing information relevant to my mandate". ... [Sydney Morning Herald - 26/9/15]





ABC suddenly concerned about the plight of "defectors" from North Korea, reminds audience about "good" vs "bad" refugees, political prisoners and dissidents with a sympathetic (and beautifully illustrated) account of an attempted escape  [ABC - 27/4/16]




As LNP and ALP politicians line up to discipline PNG, O'Neill says Australia's refugee concentration camp on Manus Island must be closed [Australian Financial Review - 27/4/16]




But you'll still be campaigning for Shorten? ---->  @MelissaParkeMP [27/4/16]:  Appalled at govt & oppn response to PNG supreme crt decision. It's time to close offshore centres & bring ppl to Oz #auspol @rightsagenda




... Burke and Parke said they would continue to work for the election of a Shorten-led Labor government at this year’s election.   <--- Only a fraud or a fool stays in - and/or supports - a party whose policies they disagree with. [Labor alibi Melissa Parke won't recontest seat - Guardian - 22/1/16]





How Rudd created stateless exiles [ABC - 27/4/16]:



... KIM LANDERS: If the men were released onto the wider community in Manus Island, would they then be in breach of any PNG laws?

 DON ROTHWELL [Professor of International Law, ANU]: Well, the PNG Government would clearly need to consider the migration status of those persons and we know already that there's been a handful of successful asylum seekers who've had their claims for asylum approved, that they've been released into the PNG community. So obviously there's a process under the Migration Act of Papua New Guinea which allows for this. And so, a mass release of the type that were contemplating would need to follow those processes.

KIM LANDERS: Could it be possible that if someone hasn't had their claim determined yet that they would be considered an illegal immigrant in PNG?

DON ROTHWELL: Yes most clearly, and so that's why it would be essential if this was going to be an interim solution that the Papua New Guinea Government was going to take in response to the Supreme Court decision, that the status of these persons for the PNG Migration Act was clarified.  ...




... We are not provided with clear answers, not given the right to access legal representation and at every turn, we are manipulated and fed false information, which has built more desperation, mistrust and heartache amongst us.


To sum up, this is a message from a place of isolation to the whole world. I am a Rohingyan boy from Myanmar (Burma).

I am 22 years old now. I have been persecuted and deprived of my basic human rights since I was born right up until now.

I have never known safety or peace, and I have never known citizenship or a right to call any country my own.

I am writing this letter on behalf of all the asylum seekers and refugees who have been detained on Manus Island offshore processing prison.

I am hoping that every living person will take a few minutes to read this message, raise their voice to protect our lives and preserve the unity of humanity. ... A voice from Manus [Autonomous Action Radio - 26/4/16]




As conditions drastically deteriorate on Nauru, despairing refugees question purpose of #LetThemStay



@TheQCU Ros McLennan honoured by ACTU for her great leadership of the #LetThemStay picket at #ladycilento #ausunions



Image: @AMWUnionActive [7/3/16]



Guardian [27/4/16]:


A man has suffered severe burns after setting himself on fire, allegedly in front of United Nations representatives, at an immigration settlement [exile and disappearance] site in Nauru.

A video of the incident, seen by Guardian Australia, shows the 23-year-old Iranian man soaked in liquid, standing in a clearing and shouting to the people around him.

He has been identified as Omid, a recognised refugee from Iran. Omid turned 23 last December and is married.

According to one witness, Omid said: “This is how tired we are, this action will prove how exhausted we are. I cannot take it anymore.”


The witness said the man had met with representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Tuesday morning, who were on the island to interview asylum seekers and refugees.

They have also been inspecting the Manus Island offshore centre.

According to reports from detainees at both places, the focus has been largely on the mental health of detainees.


The Nauruan government is yet to answer any questions on recent actions by its justice system to charge and convict people – including at least two but possibly up to four refugees – for attempting suicide. <-- And the Australian medical and human rights establishment have maintained a stony, emboldening silence.

According to advocates, UN representatives on Nauru also witnessed the detainee protest – now in its 39th consecutive day.

Many have reported feeling they were prevented from meeting with UN representatives, or told there was nothing that could be done to help them.

A video of the protest is claimed to show UN representatives on the other side of a fence but this has not been confirmed. In it people shout “UN help us” and “ABF shame on you”.

The Guardian has contacted the UNHCR seeking comment.


One woman on Nauru, who said she had trained in psychology, said she was concerned for the detainees there, after a series of significant protests and immigration policy changes had left them unaffected.

“It made all disappointed,” she said.

“Because first was Christmas Island and second was ‘Let them stay’ and now Manus. Let us be clear, it won’t help us and it made all angry and nervous … What I saw tonight was so dangerous. All thinking about dying, they are just thinking how?”





Plenty of time to tweet about football, and post links to Olympic PR, so where is UNHCR Australia's response to Radio New Zealand and Guardian Australia's questions about their visit to Nauru?



‏@UNrefugees - Australia for UNHCR [27/4/16]:  Congratulations @aliir_mayom for your debut against Brisbane on Sunday - a great speaker & advocate for refugees





With Manus detention declared illegal, Australia must shoulder its refugee responsibility [Amnesty Australia Media Release - 27/4/16]:



... “Amnesty calls on the Australian Government to prioritise human rights and bring these people on to Australian shores for processing. Those men found to be refugees should then immediately be granted full protection in Australia.”

The PNG Supreme Court decision should come as a warning signal to the Australian Government: third country arrangements and the offshore processing of people are not humane solutions.

They are means for Australia to shirk its responsibility amid one of history’s biggest refugee crises.

Amnesty continues to call for the government to close all of its offshore processing facilities and move to an onshore system where these vulnerable people can have their claims processed in a transparent, humane and legal way.

The billions of dollars spent on Australia’s inhumane detention policies should be reinvested in the Asia-Pacific region to create fair and efficient processes, as well as safe and legal routes which protect people looking for refuge.




Turnbull must respect PNG Supreme Court decision and reverse the illegal actions of his predecessors [Refugee Council of Australia - 27/4/16]:


... “The Supreme Court decision has illustrated that, while Australian politicians were falsely vilifying people seeking asylum as ‘illegal maritime arrivals’, it was the Australian Government which was in fact acting outside the law,” Mr Power said.

“This mess began with decisions of the Gillard Government in 2012 and was exacerbated by subsequent actions of the Rudd and Abbott Governments. It now falls to Mr Turnbull to ensure that Australia acts within the law.

“As the transfer of people against their will to PNG was the first of the illegal actions, the Australian Government must immediately reverse this and return all refugees and asylum seekers sent to PNG back to Australia. When they are returned, the Australian Government must respect the refugee status already granted to around 500 refugees and allow for a full and fair review of the initial negative decisions of around 400 others.” ...




... Ben Lomai, who is running a similar case to the one decided on Tuesday, said he thought the men might be sent to Nauru.

Mr Lomai said in light of the ruling he would make an application to the PNG Supreme Court to have the men transferred to Australia.

 He said the asylum seekers were delighted at the Supreme Court's decision but they still did not know where they would end up.

"There was a lot of jubilation in the camp but at the same time there is some mixed feelings because they are more interested to know where are they going to go from there now they have their freedom," Mr Lomai said.

Another PNG lawyer, Loani Henao, has called on both governments to accept the unanimous ruling, which is not subject to appeal.

"The Governments of Papua New Guinea in particular and that of Australia must take immediate steps not tomorrow or next year or in six months' time to remove the unconstitutionally set up detention centre on Manus Island," he said. ... [ABC - 27/4/16]




Forty years since the first refugee boat arrived in Australia from Vietnam [Rise Refugee - 26/4/16]




Where are the CLEAR statements from Human Rights groups and Civil Society organisations calling on the Australian government - AND opposition -  to start respecting international law?



Flight from Port Moresby to Manus Island halted by distressed refugee [ABC - 27/4/16]:



A screaming asylum seeker in Papua New Guinea's capital has prevented a flight from travelling to Manus Island moments before take-off.

The man was one of two asylum seekers detained by Port Moresby airport security guards after the incident.

He began screaming as the plane taxied down the runway.

Cabin crew tried to calm the man but he remained agitated and the plane then returned to the terminal.

The men and two immigration staff escorting them were then offloaded from the flight.

The asylum seekers are believed to have been in Port Moresby for medical treatment.

It is not clear if immigration authorities can legally force them to return to Manus Island, after PNG's Supreme Court ruled their detention there was illegal. [The PNG Supreme Court has ordered the immediate end to ALL refugee detention.]




Nauru:  Radio New Zealand endeavours to hold UNHCR Australia to account [27/4/16]:  ... No one from the office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Canberra was available to comment. ...




Partisan tweets, performing on Sky News, and parroting wishy washy talking points in other right-wing media outlets, plays along with the status quo. 


The Government will not resile until equal pressure is also brought to bear on the ALP.  Why not issue a clear statement calling on the government AND the opposition to respect international law? :



‏@LibertyVic - Liberty Victoria [27/4/16]:  The PNG Supreme Court has said it: enough is enough. We call on our government to do the right thing & uphold our obligations to refugees.




Destruction of human beings continues, Australia's protected and unaccountable Immigration Minister punishes refugees following PNG Supreme Court decision


... The law of 19 July 2013 relies on such violence and is executed every day, despite the fact that it is contrary to the democratic and liberal concepts and principles Australia professes. It is against all of the principles and standards of human rights and human achievements in the course of history and its violent domination is growing day by day. The nature and essence of this violence in the system is displayed prominently and obviously in front of the Australian political stage. To clarify, the immigration minister occasionally appears as a political figure with the gesture of a dictator, or as a populist representation in the form of a demon, and afterward, he disappears. ...


Australia, exceptional in its brutality, Behrouz Boochani [25/4/16]



Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [27/4/16]:

There are fears that three refugees taken around 3.00am from the Brisbane Transit Accommodation by Border Force officers have been sent back to Nauru.

Two of them were seen being bodily carried out of the detention centre by their arms and legs.

The three, one Somali woman, an Iranian and a Sri Lankan, had been brought from Nauru to Australia for medical treatment.

The transfer comes as Nauru has gone into complete meltdown.

The visit by the UNHCR has resulted in protest by refugees and asylum seekers.

Today will be the 39th day of protests by the asylum seekers in the family camp.

Last night four people attempted suicide by drinking washing powder and have been taken to the IHMS clinic.

This morning, an Iranian refugee has attempted to self-immolate at Nibok Camp in front of UNHCR representatives.

Protests against the UNHCR representatives following the incident have forced them to leave Nibok camp.

Two Iranian women, Marziyeh Faghih (28) and Amineh Shajira, (34) have been missing since Sunday.

It is feared they may have disappeared at sea, in an attempt to flee the island or die trying.

But no search attempt has been mounted by land or sea despite appeals to Connect case managers or police.

This morning’s transfer to Nauru from BITA seems to be a vindictive move by the Immigration Department to re-establish their authority following the PNG Supreme Court finding that Manus Island was unlawful.

“There is no justification for the forced transfers from BITA this morning,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“It is sheer bloody-mindedness for the Minister to send these refugees back to Nauru just to show that he has that power. The use of Border Force officers has created panic amongst refugees and asylum seekers in the detention centre.

“Nauru is in complete social meltdown. The protests, and the attempted suicides reveal the sheer desperation of refugees and asylum seekers left in limbo for almost three years. Manus has to close; Nauru has to close.”







Dutton is on the "rampage" because the "opposition" agree with the lies - and the Greens, media and human rights groups are protecting him with their silence and/or feeble response.  ... It is a tragedy for this country that the Liberals have lied to us for so long (calling boat people “illegal”) that they assume they can mistreat asylum seekers at will, and expect applause from the electorate. ... [Julian Burnside - 27/4/16]




MIGRATION AMENDMENT BILL 1992 - Second Reading - House of Representatives [5/5/92]:


Mr HAND (Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs)



I now wish to foreshadow major Government amendments to the Bill which I will move during the committee stage.

The Government is conscious of the extraordinary nature of the measures which will be implemented by the amendment aimed at boat people.

I believe it is crucial that all persons who come to Australia without prior authorisation not be released into the community.

Their release would undermine the Government's strategy for determining their refugee status or entry claims.

Indeed, I believe it is vital to Australia that this be prevented as far as possible.

The Government is determined that a clear signal be sent that migration to Australia may not be achieved by simply arriving in this country and expecting to be allowed into the community. ...






The PNG Supreme Court decision is NOT "a huge blow to the Coalition government" - it's a "huge blow" to Australia's bipartisan anti-refugee policy. 


The only way to challenge two-party fascism is with NON partisan protest.  Are you rallying for refugees, or rallying to help the ALP get elected by default? [Refugee Action Collective, Victoria]:


In a huge blow to the Coalition government the crowd-funded legal challenge to detention on Manus Island has succeeded.

The Papua New Guinean Supreme Court has ruled that the Australian-run detention centre is illegal and unconstitutional.

But Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has dug in his heels saying the 900 men "in the Manus facility will not be settled in Australia".

Join this rally to tell Dutton to Close Manus, Close Nauru and #BRING THEM HERE ...




THIS is why Dutton is under no pressure ---> Labor will be supporting this legislation because it is our policy.


 "Opposition" Leader, Bill Shorten speaking on the Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015  [House of Representatives Hansard - 24/6/15]






… Dance to the tune of a civilized hate

Just a few more Reds to exterminate

Business, labor and Congress agree

Just like they used to in Germany …

'Hitler Ain't Dead', Bill Frederick [1967]




Dutton continues peddling myths about Janus-faced ALP [Sydney Morning Herald - 27/4/16]:


...  Labor opened this detention centre and essentially argues it would not handle the issue any differently to the government.

But the Coalition, keen to preserve its hard-line stance on border protection, insists its opponents would ultimately back down.

"When they're in government they get monstered by the Left and they buckle at the knees," Mr Dutton told ABC radio on Wednesday. ...





Asylum seeker amnesty motion proposed by Greens voted down by Coalition and ALP [ABC - 4/2/16]




ALP helps Coalition lock in offshore detention [ABC - 24/6/15]




Guardian [16/4/15]:


A former Victorian Supreme Court Judge says new powers proposed for guards in immigration detention centres would in effect authorise them “to beat asylum seekers to death”.

In extraordinary evidence to a Senate hearing on Thursday, Stephen Charles SC said the migration amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2015 would substantially expand the powers granted to guards in detention centres in a way that would “inevitably encourage violence by guards against asylum seekers”. ...




Family of Samuel Harrell, killed by "Beat Up Squad" in NY prison, holds hunger strike for justice [Democracy Now - 26/4/16]:



... SOFFIYAH ELIJAH [Executive Director of the Correctional Association of New York]: I’ve been informed that Mr. Harrell was attacked by a group of guards, as his father explained, after he indicated that he wanted to go home and that he was going home.

And similarly, Mr. Taylor was attacked by a group of guards on April 13th.

And this is what happens throughout the New York state system in prison after prison.

And the guards do this with impunity.

The way that the union contract protects them allows them to do these acts of viciousness and violating people’s human rights. And the administration has very little at its disposal in order to discipline them.

The contract for the union is actually under negotiation right now, and my organization and other advocates have called for radical changes in this union contract so that these guards cannot continue to beat and abuse people and murder people with impunity.

The guards that beat Mr. Harrell, the guards who beat Mr. Taylor and so many others are continuing to work in the corrections system, despite their violations and their crimes against people. ...






Rogue Prison Guards, Letter to the Editor [New York Times – 25/4/16]




It is easy to forget at times just how sprawling and labyrinthine the U.S. immigration detention system truly is. But this is an important fact to keep in mind.

Due to the sheer size and complexity of the detention system, detainees are easily “lost” to their family members and attorneys.

At any time, with no advance notice, a detainee could be transferred to another detention facility hundreds of miles away, or even expelled from the country, leaving behind loved ones and legal advocates to piece together the detainee’s movements.

In a new report, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University quantifies the full breadth of the system of immigration detention which falls under the auspices of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ... [American Immigration Council - 26/4/16]




27 April 2016